Pensando raises $278 mn to develop data center products

Pensando Systems, a cloud start-up founded by a group of four ex-Cisco Systems engineers, has raised $278 million to fund products that aim to help the data centers of customers like investment banks function more like those of cloud computing providers.
Pensando foundersPensando Systems said the funds were raised through series A, B, and C rounds. The latest round was led by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Pensando’s founders have sold four previous startups to Cisco. John Chambers, the former chief executive of Cisco when it acquired the previous startups, has invested in the new company through his venture fund, JC2 ventures, Reuters reported.

Pensando will make software and devices to help data centers of companies like Goldman Sachs Group function more like cloud computing data centers like Amazon.com’s Amazon Web Services. Goldman Sachs also invested.

Pensando’s founders — Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero, and Soni Jiandani — are known in the tech industry by the acronym “MPLS,” which as well as being the first letters of their names also happens to be the abbreviation for a computer networking technology that speeds up data transfers. The group left Cisco in 2016.

Randy Pond, a former Cisco executive vice president who is now the startup’s chief financial officer, said Cisco might be a possible customer for Pensando but that it wasn’t clear whether it would be interested in an acquisition.